Paso's annual zin festival has new, more inclusive name

kleslie@thetribunenews.comMarch 13, 2014 

Castoro Cellars offers a variety of zinfandels, including the award-winning Zinfusion.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP

After test-driving a new name last year, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance has settled upon a permanent name for the region’s annual zinfandel festival — it will now be known as Vintage Paso: Zinfandel and Other Wild Wines.

In 2013, after more than 20 years being known as the Zinfandel Festival, the Alliance decided to change the name of the three-day festival to Grow Zinfully Wild Weekend, to accompany a marketing campaign.

This year, group organizers were looking to find a name that better describes the event, as well as further distancing it from its original one-stop tasting event format, Alliance spokesman Christopher Taranto said.

“We are trying to make it relevant for the time of the year this event is held in,” Taranto said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new vintage. … We are celebrating the start of this new year for the vines.”

The new name also has the benefit of opening up the weekend to some local wineries that do not produce zinfandels, which is considered to be Paso Robles’ heritage grape, Taranto said.

This year’s festival — which runs from Friday through Sunday — will have a “little bit of something for everybody,” Taranto said. About 130 wineries will host events, from free tastings to winemaker dinners. Other special events include vineyard and winery tours, chocolate pairings and extra discounts on award-winning wines.

“It is really great for locals to get out and enjoy the region,” Taranto said. “The festival is welcoming for experts and novices alike.”

Though he did not have exact numbers on last year’s event, Taranto said it performed “very well,” and “across-the-board sales and attendance were up.” He said the Alliance is hoping this year will do even better.

For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.pasowine.com.

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